so i’m at a national conference, on a megachurch campus, in a massive auditorium, with a huge sound system, surrounded by thousands of people, and the host walks onto the stage and says…nothing. the mic wasn’t on. after a sentence or two, it finally got turned up and we could all hear him. good to know that kind of thing doesn’t just happen at home, right? but it didn’t end there. technical problems dominated the evening. vocals for the bands were either way too quiet or way too loud. the bands were mixed so quietly you couldn’t hear many of the instruments. the slides were either early or late. and didn’t have the proper copyright information (even though that is a breakout session tomorrow). i don’t think the subs were ever turned on. finally, towards the end of the night the electric guitar got turned up for a solo, and it was ever so satisfying.
the prostitution of worship has put a stench in the air. there is a merch tent full of over 50 vendors all selling their wares to “help” you lead worship at your home church. truth be told they are there to make a buck. and the only booth that was slightly interesting was the Taylor Guitars booth. and what do you know, there was nothing “religious” about it…
and there is this musical group that has discovered some old, old worship songs and re-written music for them. the text is from the first century church, which is very cool, but the music they wrote for it just stinks.Â (it’s called the Odes Project).Â and they did FIVE songs tonight. none of us knew the songs, so we couldn’t sing along. so we just sat there while they painfully promoted their new CD of beautiful ancient text put to painfully mediocre music. ouch.
okay, so i’m a bit jaded…
the good news is that is was not a total wreck. Matt Redman took the stage and we all perked up. and some guy, (Skip Heitzig), shared for a bit about worship, big picture. his definition of worship was that “Worship is a proper response to God that comes from the heart by which we put God above everyone and everything else.” i’m good with that. he also discussed four of the “means” to worship: mind, physical, musical, and heart.
personally, i put much stock in Romans 12:1-2 and believe that worship isn’t a song you sing, it is a life that you live. and yet it was good to be reminded by this gentleman that songs are worship too, and no small part at that. he shared a great quote from Martin Luther, “Music is the art of the prophets.”
so i am looking forward to what will unfold this week. we were encouraged to receive “manna” from God this week. many of us give on a regular basis, and this week is a time to receive. not more than we need, not anything to take home, but exactly what we need. for today. i am going to try to approach things with that in mind…
Savor the good moments! I’m with you… worship happens every day. Sunday is just an energetic celebration of God in our everyday lives.
HEAD-CASE MURPH K.
Reminds me of a conversation Murph and I had about authenticity – when you ‘try’ to be authentic, it plays out as something less than authentic.
I love the idea of manna. Not more than you need right now. Nothing to take home. Exactly what God knows you need.
So what’s up with Billy (see above) – seems a little strong for a comment about a worship conference (I’m just sayin’).
Hey man, I was in Austin too. Awesome time but I didn’t get the odes stuff either. Terrible music and the words at times felt like a bad translation from another language.
Anyway I am still trying to decompress all the information I took in last week. Good to read another brothers thoughts on the conference.